Aquaponics in a Food Forest

Creating an educational sustainable polyculture you can visit and take away bite size ideas to replicate in your own garden. The funding will be used to plant the canopy layer of the forest garden – including many unusual edible trees as well as an aquaponic system. Aquaponics dates back to the Aztecs and is the creation of a symbiotic environment between fish and plants. Through this and the food forest we’ll demonstrate efficient organic techniques to grow food – both traditional and the unususal. You will be able to visit the project as a students,

We did it!

On 13th Dec 2013 we successfully raised £2,505 of £2,500 target with 11 supporters in 42 days

Hello, my is name is Tracy Oldfield. My family and I set up our farm 15 years ago. We’ve always aimed to work with nature and the environment.  This has meant often experimenting to see what works and has led to my starting a Diploma in Permaculture.

Permaculture within farming is similar to organic - whilst constantly observing the natural world and learning lessons from what you see. 

As part of my Diploma in Permaculture I’m creating a special project on our farm experimenting with growing mutually beneficial perennial food and other complementary plants that work in a very low impact way in terms of resources and time whilst generating a decent harvest.

WHY A Food Forest with Aquaponics?

A forest garden is a unique environment that in our temperate climate takes cues from the land's natural state. If our fields were left unmanaged for several years trees would start to grow and before long woods would establish.

By taking control of this natural process and planting a woodland with a light canopy, land can be very productive – producing food through multiple layers from ground to tree canopy.



Everything is completely natural and we’ll be sharing all we learn along the way. We are designing a Forest Garden, experimenting with well known and unusual edibles and including an aquaponic system within our present polytunnel to help raise further edible plants.


The Aquaponics is again working with nature - combining fish in a hydroponic system to create a balanced organic system.

WHERE will the garden be created?

The farm

The forest garden is part of Dorset Forest Garden in beautiful West Dorset and will initially be spread over 0.75 acres. The location is easily accessible whilst being set in a stunning location with far reaching views. Camping will be within the forest garden in Shepherd huts – each in its own space so as to soak up the atmosphere.

The Aquaponics will be within an existing polytunnel at the edge of the forest garden.


We have put in most of the ground work already and are reusing as much as we can from the site. We need a little help in order to complete the first phase of the project.

Our present polytunnel has done us good service over the last 8 years. We need your help in buying a new cover before we set up the aquaponics system.

We have benches and electricity already in place that is ideal for the new aquaponics. We need your help to buy the pumps and containers to house the aquaponics and substrates and fish to go in them.

We have marked out paths and moved fencing in readiness for the forest garden. We need your help to buy the trees to make up the canopy layer of the forest garden.

What if we receive more funds?

If we exceed our budget we plan to adapt an old polytunnel frame into an arched garden with food plants trained overhead to create a shady place for visitors to eat with benches and a clay oven. This will be a magical space!


You can help us by both making a pledge and by telling people about the Dorset Forest Garden, spreading the word about our projects and about this campaign.

1. Making a pledge. We need to reach our target before the ending of our 6 week campaign, so if you want this project to happen please make a pledge and help us in reaching that goal. Anything helps, and besides the rewards we offer, we will be eternally grateful to you!

2. Telling people about the Dorset Forest Garden and its crowdfunding campaign. Following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook, maybe sharing this campaign from time to time will also help. Show your friends our website, or send them a link to this page. By spreading the word you'll be helping us to find other potential supporters.


We have a wide range of rewards catering for a wide range of interests. Whether you’re interested in creating your own Forest Garden and would like some tailored advice for your garden 

or would like to come and stay in our tranquil eco home that sleeps upto 6 and spending some time in a peaceful space, rich in wildlife – we have many rewards.

So please give us what you can and we will not disappoint you!All of our rewards include a thank you letter and a funky badge – and inclusion on our website ‘support’ page.



If you sign up now through Go Cardless, your money will only be taken once we meet 100% of our funding target. It works like a one-off direct debit. If we don't reach our target then you don't pay, but if we do then your money will automatically be taken from your account.Alternatively, you can pay via PayPal.


Of course we can! But rewards can involve visiting our Farm in Dorset.You can pay via PayPal, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


You can explore our website by clicking the following


If you have any questions or you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us. Someone will promptly reply and help you in the best way we can! 861113



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